Furlough-friendly pasta spares the wallet and feeds the family

RECIPE: Bucatini zucchini in parmesan sauce Photo: Amelia Ames

PROVO, Utah, October 9, 2013 — The current government shutdown coupled with the looming debt crisis has left many dealing with personal budget woes. Even if you have not been furloughed, the political teeth-gnashing and dire predictions on both sides of the aisle may have you considering how you can tighten your belt a little more.

A vegetarian supper is a great way to save on cost. Zucchini are having their last hurrah before the frost, and are very fresh and affordable this time of year. Combine the zucchini with an eggy cheesy sauce and a novel pasta, and you’ve got a meal that is both filling and delicious. Bucatini, also known as perciatelli, is basically tube spaghetti. The hole down the middle helps the pasta pick up more sauce.

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Bucatini  Zucchini in Parmesan Sauce


5 tablespoons, butter

1 small onion, chopped

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1 lb zucchini, cut into large dices

12 ounces bucatini noodles

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

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½ cup fresh basil, chopped

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


In a large pot, heat 6 quarts of salted water. While the water heats melt butter on medium heat in a very large skillet and sauté onion until translucent. Add zucchini, salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until soft. When the water boils, cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta cooks, in a small bowl whisk together the eggs and the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Once the pasta is al dente , use tongs or a pasta spoon to grab the pasta from the cooking pot and put it into the skillet with the zucchini-onion mixture. Add about ½ cup of the pasta water, and be sure to slop a lot of extra pasta water into the skillet while you transfer the noodles. Pour over the egg-cheese mixture and fold or flip the pasta in the pan to combine. Over medium-low heat carefully cook and stir to thicken the sauce. You do not want the eggs to scramble. When the sauce is thickened, toss with the basil and serve.

Serves 4 hungry people.

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Amelia Ames

Amelia Ames is a food writer and reviewer for Communities @Washington Times.  Her column Kitchen Journeys seeks to find the best in food, and those that prepare it for us.  Read more of her recipes, reviews and news at Gastronomy Girl. She received a B.S. in Zoology-Entomology from Brigham Young University.

Contact Amelia Ames


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